Political cooperation lags behind economy

Political cooperation lags behind economy

A. ELENA KIRTCHEVA Member of the Board Secretary General of Vienna Economic Forum
We, of Vienna Economic Forum, have the privilege and the great responsibility, together with our president Dr Erhard Busek, an enthusiastic advocate of regional cooperation, together with all our members from the 14 member countries, to actively support the economic collaboration in the region. 
The European present and the European future of the region are close to the heart of Vienna Economic Forum and we view the regional economic collaboration as an imminent part of stability and of possibilities of prosperity not only for the region, but for the whole United Europe. 

The effective support of the regional economy and politics of the Balkans is one of the major challenges for Europe and the European Union! It might be a delicate subject, but it is a fact at the same time: We all need a United Europe. And I believe: We reach this goal best by the priority of intensifying regional economic collaboration. Maybe by consolidation of the economic area of the region, we can all contribute to consolidating a collective Europe? 

Vienna Economic Forum has set the goal and we are working together with our partners towards the realisation of this. For this purpose, ladies and Gentlemen, the role of Marmara Group Foundation is immense! 

Through this collaboration we feel again and again the effective support of many Turkish companies and organisations. 

A part of Marmara Group Foundation, I would like to thank wholeheartedly Anatolian Businessmen Association (ASKON), Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED). In particular, a great example is our close collaboration with Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), whose president Mr Arda Ermut is member of the Board of Vienna Economic Forum. By close collaboration we were able to organise the 13th Vienna Economic Forum – Vienna Future Dialogue 2016 in November last year in Vienna together with World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), whose president is also Mr. Arda Ermut, and with great support of European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) - and we were also able to discuss pragmatically oriented investment possibilities and investment projects in the Balkans. 

Today, we are discussing Challenges that European Union faces with and its Future Concerns. And today when I advocate for an intensified role of regional economy and regional politic of the Balkans and its European present and future and talk about the big challenges for Europe, I’m doing so through the prism of my VEF-experience in the economic development in the region and with the belief that: 

1. The regional economic collaboration is an imminent part of stability and prosperity possibilities in the region, and should be deepened and viewed with priority; 

2. The whole region of the Balkans IS and SHOULD be part of a United Europe. I am aware of the unsteady fields I am entering, when I, in such politically turbulent times, advocate the priority of a deepened regional, economic collaboration. I am aware that nowadays striving for political solutions for different crisis regions of Europe and the world, is not only dominated by the mind-set and the language of politicians, but also often determined by the agenda of different governments and many societies. 

I am still convinced, that the economic collaboration, which relies on mutual interest and requires mutual trust, is the right and consolidated way forward. The trust is an important economic category .